MANCHESTER, May 15- Wayne Rooney has been ruled out of Manchester United’s clash against Arsenal on Sunday but Robin van Persie and Angel Di Maria are fit to return.
United captain Rooney suffered a thigh injury in last week’s 2-1 win over Crystal Palace and, like defender Luke Shaw, who also came off at Selhurst Park, has not recovered in time.
“The situation is not positive for us, they cannot play, neither of them,” manager Louis van Gaal told MUTV. “It is a short-term thing. We have only one match to play, so I think it will be difficult for them to play again this season.”
But former Arsenal skipper Van Persie and United’s record signing Di Maria are both back in contention after a virus forced them to miss the Palace game.
“Angel Di Maria and Robin van Persie are able to play,” Van Gaal confirmed.
Van Persie has only started one of United’s last 11 games after suffering an ankle injury in the 2-1 defeat at Swansea in February but could prove Rooney’s replacement in attack.
Radamel Falcao, who came on for the England captain at Selhurst Park but has not scored in his last 12 appearances, is the other option available to manager Louis van Gaal.
Winger Di Maria, who cost United £59.7 million, has not started since he was sent off against Arsenal for tugging referee Michael Oliver’s shirt in Arsenal’s 2-1 FA Cup victory at Old Trafford in March.
Marcos Rojo, who has missed United’s last four games, could play and offers manager Van Gaal an alternative to Daley Blind at left-back in Shaw’s absence.
United remain without vice-captain Michael Carrick, who will not play again this season.
“Rafael da Silva has come back but he cannot play. Shaw cannot play. [Jonny] Evans is a question mark. Rooney cannot play and Carrick cannot play and [Andreas] Pereira is in Brazil,” Van Gaal listed in his news conference.